So, WoW finally opened up its Latin American servers this past 25th, and made available a localization and language pack to go with it (optional, though. you can play just fine on Latin American servers with the good ol’ vanilla English client and launcher). Being the native Spanish speaker that I am, I decided to give it a whirl. See if I could get in touch with a few friends from really down south and get together in-game.
But nothing could prepare me for the translation to Spanish. How do I want to put it? Okay, let’s try this: It’s repugnant. How about that? Need more qualifiers? Happy to oblige: Obscure, Nonsensical, halfway between machine translation and surrealism.
I won’t make a laundry list of all its sins. But having done a lot of translation work in the past myself, I had to switch back to English before my liver gave up the ghost. I can mention a few things, though:
– “Stormwind” has been translated to “Vientormenta”. “Wind” is “Viento”, “Storm” is “Tormenta”. So, “Stormwind” = “Vientormenta”, right? Wrong. Unlike English, German and (I wanna say) Japanese, the Spanish language doesn’t commonly use compounded words like that. This is a no-no. There are a few exceptions, of course (“Torremolinos” being a popular vacation spot in Spain, etc), but if we stick to common use, words shouldn’t be compounded like that anyway. It should have been “Viento de Tormenta”, which is proper and just fine. Conveys the idea and the baggage behind the name just fine. “Vientormenta” means absolutely nothing other than retarded Spanish.
– “Rogue” has been translated to “Pícaro”, which is bad. I mean, very bad. “Rogue” is a difficult word to translate. Lots of synonyms that don’t quite finish encapsulating the idea behind “Rogue”. Fine. Granted. But, trust me on this, saying “Rogue” = “Pícaro” leaves the same taste in the mouth as, for example, a German game that translates “Meuchelmörder” (Assassin), into something vomitive like “Mischievous Guy”. Yes, it’s that bad. In Spanish, the kids that steal apples from the neighbor’s tree, or try to innocently steal a kiss from a girl in the playground are called “Pícaros”. The word only implies that level of villainy. So I guess Rogues got nerfed again. Nerfed in translation.
– “Undercity” became “Entrañas”. “Ironforge” became “Forjaz”. This is just surreal. Absurd. Nonsensical.
“Entrañas” is the direct translation of “Entrails”. As in, yup, viscera. It has nothing to do with the word and the idea behind “Undercity”. At all. Nothing. And no, it matters not one bit that the Forsaken have their organs out there kinda hanging and that’s why they name the city like that, because we don’t rename “Northrend” into “Icecube” just because it’s cold up there. So, please.
“Forjaz” is just inexplicable. Look, it’s easy. It’s right in front of you, like this: Ironforge. Okay? With me so far? Good. The Spanish word for “Iron” is “Hierro”. The one for “Forge” is “Forja” (from the verb “Forjar”). Therefore, in a world inhabited by humans, “Ironforge” translates directly and simply to “Forja de Hierro”, since we established earlier we don’t dig compound words. “Forjaz” means absolutely nothing, other than vaguely suggesting/misspelling a forge, while leaving the “iron” part completely out of it. It boggles the mind.
There are many more ridiculous mistranslations and flights of the imagination around in that localization pack. If you know any Spanish, even at a basic level, you can check a small sample of the (mis)translations here. Be warned. It hurts.
See, I would accept a small or unknown company clowning around like this. But not really Blizzendi. They have the resources, they had at least 3 years to get this right and surely someone, somewhere in their vast organization either speaks Spanish or can get in touch with a remotely decent translation service to do this. Why, then, this? Laziness? Until a better explanation comes along, I’m running with that.